Breakfast and self-loathing


November 2, 2010 by jessperriam

Coffee and banana bread, breakfast of champions

“I wake up every morning and feel so bad that I’m not going out and earning any money or you know, just contributing to society in general. I literally feel sick with myself.”

When one of my friends asked me what I got up to yesterday, I came up with a fairly glib assessment:

“Oh, just breakfast and usual self-loathing.”

Hang on a second: self-loathing isn’t a very usual feeling for me. It’s just become more usual over the past few days.

The time has finally come to wave goodbye to my self assigned long-service leave from life.  It’s time to call time on the quarterlife crisis.

You know it’s time when it no longer feels good to wake up in the morning with nothing on the agenda.

Yes, I wholeheartedly acknowledge this is a first world dilemma. Poor me.

But what to do next?

When I fall in love with something to do in life, I fall very hard.  My eyes are on the prize and I work like a focussed crazy lady to get there. Some wanky phrase such as: “The harder I work the luckier I get,” may seem appropriate at this point in time.

I achieved my dream job (dreamed when I was in my last year of university) when I was 23. And I never quite adjusted the whole dream job aspirations after that. Nor did I ever set any further goals. There was no clear career path for me in my workplace that didn’t involve moving back to the country or languishing for a while. There was nothing to work towards, aspire to. And aside from the (very) occasional air check, there was no encouragement to grow in your job and train to become better in what you do. The opportunities to learn new skills so you could become a better creative were rare.

Yep. I hoped I would have had some creative explosion…. and through a series of reasons it never really happened. By the end there was a desk and I was chained to it.

“The creative days of the media may or may not be dead. Quantity has overtaken quality as top priority. Debate and discuss this argument.”

And it’s good that I walked away, rather than be that same ill-tempered, mutated sea bass from months ago.

But as I said, figuring out what to do next is the killer.

I don’t even know what I’m good at anymore.

And even if I did know what I was good at, I’m not entirely sure how I could turn it into some coin.

I have ideas – many, brilliant, exciting ones. I bombard my friends and well-wishers with them often. They smile and nod very enthusiastically, but apart from stewing and stewing in my brains – nothing comes of those delightful ideas.

My problem isn’t so much “What do I want to be when I grow up?” but “How am I going to be who I want to be?”

My fatal flaw is that I look for absolute certainty in what I attempt, when stepping out on a limb and seeing whether I sink or swim wouldn’t be a terrible option either.

Please kick my backside into gear, tell me anything’s possible, never give up, and other euphemisms. In fact, I will invite you do so using an open question:

What piece of inspiration would you give me to avoid my current state of breakfast and self-loathing?


3 thoughts on “Breakfast and self-loathing

  1. Jacob Black says:

    I’ll tell you one more thing. There is not an obstacle on the planet that can’t be skirted, hurdled, ducked or crashed the fuck through.

  2. jessperriam says:

    And that’s why you rock!

  3. mrtwilliger says:

    I’m quite sorry for the sporadic comment here, I came across this post by pure lurking, but I thought I’d share something none the less.

    This feeling, the uncertainty and doubt, the loss of self identity, it’s nothing new to this world. At some point or another, a small minority have felt the exact same thing that you feel right now. But the striving for identity, the longing for hope; it’s not a bad thing at all. While the futility of it all is overwhelming, the very essence of it shows your worth.

    I pose a simple question: Is it worse to be content with a ignorant stagnation, or to be depressed by a seemingly impossible challenge? By the sounds of thing you’ve chosen to shape and change your world to the way you feel it should represent you, the latter thought takes control. The people that make us feel our best are never quite content with their surroundings, it’s the striving for self identity that makes them so special. To fall into the cycle, to give up on revolution (on a singular, less dramatic level of course) is cursing ones self to a pitiful death.

    “Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”

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